IN the world of professional wrestling, Glenn Thomas Jacobs has been known by many aliases: ‘Christmas Creature,’ ‘Unabomb,’ ‘Dr. Isaac Yankem,’ ‘Fake Diesel,’ and ‘Kane.’
Today, his colleagues are trumpeting Jacobs as ‘Mr. Mayor’ and it’s a title he earned not by bodyslamming a hapless foe in the ring, but by topping a real election.
Jacobs, 51, was recently elected Mayor of Knox County, Tennessee, after garnering two-thirds of the votes and defeating Democrat Linda Haney. Jacobs, a Republican, ran on issues that zeroed in on lower taxes, better infrastructure and ‘transparency.’
For somebody who has spent most of his years in pro wrestling hiding his identity behind a mask, Jacobs’ campaign for ‘transparency’ definitely sounds off-tangent. Then again, stripped of his mask, Jacobs offers a totally different personality, one that makes him deserving of an electoral post.
The product of a US Airforce family, Jacobs was born in a military installation in Madrid, Spain, and grew up in Nashville, Tennessee. Believe it or not, he holds a Bachelor’s degree in English and owns a teaching degree. Jacobs once earned his keep as a substitute teacher before developing a passion for the grunt-and-groan trade.
Jacobs was taught the rudiments of pro wrestling by Dean Malenko (Dean Simon in real life) and eventually turned pro in 1992. In his early years, he competed in Puerto Rico, Japan and Florida, using aliases like ‘Christmas Creature’ and ‘Doomsday.’ In October 1993, the seven-foot Jacobs surfaced in the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) via its pay-per-view show ‘Survivor Series.’ Jacobs was known as the ‘Black Knight,’ a member of Shawn Michaels’ (Michael Hickenbottom in real life) that was trounced by the Hart Brothers.
Jacobs’ initial stint in the WWE was brief. He returned to the independent scene where he wrestled as the ‘Unabomb.’ In August 1995, Jacobs returned to the WWE where he was introduced by Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler as ‘Dr. Isaac Yankem,’ the deranged wrestler-cum-dentist. Jacobs feuded with Bret ‘Hitman’ Hart, but after he started losing to lesser known wrestlers like Bob Holly and Ahmed Johnson, Jacobs decided to assume another persona: the ‘Fake Diesel.’
Jacobs debuted as the ‘Fake Diesel’ after the real ‘Diesel, Kevin Nash, abruptly left the WWE. The new character was dismissed as a joke and Jacobs ended up returning to the independent scene and reprising his old character ‘Doomsday.’
Jacobs did not develop a following in the WWE until he was re-packaged by wrestling manager Paul Bearer (William Moody) as ‘Kane,’ the long-lost younger brother of The Undertaker (Mark Calaway). As the storyline went, Bearer accused the Undertaker of killing his own family, but ‘Kane’ apparently survived and vowed revenge. In real life, Jacobs was a huge fan of the Undertaker and the chance to play his ‘brother’ was too good to pass up.
It was while competing as ‘Kane’ that Jacobs finally became a star in the WWE. He would team up with X-Pac (Sean Waltman) and win the WWE tag team championship. In 2002, he defeated Chris Jericho for the WWE Intercontinental title. Down the road, Kane held the WWE world heavyweight title, too.
Outside the ring, Jacobs is happily married with two daughters and runs an insurance business in Knoxville. He has appeared in a handful of movies and TV shows, playing the role of ‘Titan’ in the superhero TV series Smallville and yet another macabre character in See No Evil (1 and 2).
It was not until 2016, after the US presidential election, when Jacobs started pondering on a political career. In March 2017, he officially declared his candidacy for the position of Mayor of Knox County and the rest is history. Jacobs is scheduled to be sworn in on September 2.
‘Kane’ now goes by the title ‘Mayor Glenn Jacobs’ and you can say he is bent on making a difference with the character.